Imitation: No substitute for the real thing


Imitation, as the oft-quoted but unidentified “they” say, is the sincerest form of flattery. There is nothing, however, that is more cringeworthy to me than imitation. This applies for butter, for maple syrup. Why would you bother with margarine? But the most annoying thing: the wholesale adoption of someone else’s vocabulary, sayings, mannerisms, style of written expression (and opinion probably goes without saying, yeah?). Certainly using a word here or there as an homage to how cool you think someone’s means of expression can be does not violate any tenets of self-expression. The key, though, is self-expression. If you parrot someone else almost verbatim, where is your voice? Lost, somewhere, never heard. Is this really a display of lack of personality or confidence in what you have to say (or in the coolness of your own vocabulary and the content of what you have to say)? Is it a language issue?

Soundtrack du jour: Pulp – Bad Cover Version

"The original was so good — the one you no longer own."

"It's not easy to forget me, it's so hard to disconnect
When it's electronically reprocessed to give a more life-like effect.

Aah, sing your song about all the sad imitations that got it so wrong…"

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